Join The NonProfit Times: or Become a member

Subscribe: Print Publication or Newsletter

Stay connected.
Stay informed.

National Effort to Unite Unlikely Allies in Service to ‘One America’

By Paul Clolery - June 20, 2013

It is no surprise to anyone who isn’t living under a rock that there is political gridlock in Congress and popular consumer media has divided the nation into two camps. If anything is clear during the National Conference on Volunteering and Service this week in Washington, D.C., is that you don’t have to agree on a path to agree on a goal to resolve an issue.

Banking and finance giant JPMorgan Chase is betting on that concept that Americans can find a path to agreement. It launched The One America Campaign during the conference and is backing it up with advertising, pro bono work and an attempt to bring famous polar opposites together in politics, entertainment, and sports with the goal of inspiring millions to unite in service to their communities.

The first unlikely pairings were introduced at the conference include conservative talk show host Bill O’Reilly and liberal pundit and political strategist Donna Brazile, along with Karl Rove, former adviser to President George W. Bush, and David Plouffe, former adviser to President Obama.  Also endorsing the campaign by video: comedian and Daily Show guest host John Oliver.

“What really matters to our nation’s future is not what divides us, but what brings us together,” said Peter Scher, executive vice president and head of corporate responsibility at JPMorgan Chase. “And we know we are stronger when we are together as one nation — as One America.”

He said that JPMorgan Chase employees have given more than 1 million pro bono hours during the past three years. It equates to 500 full-time employees, Scher said.

Brazile moderated a discussion between the two rivals Rove and Plouffe. Both talk of needing to make sure volunteers understood that their actions mattered. Plouffe suggested that nonprofit “over-communicate” with volunteers to ensure they have clear direction and receive unequivocal thanks. Rove also spoke of clarity of message and communication.

Rove said that most volunteers don’t start in politics but at local organizations, such as the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, and nonprofits shape the volunteer experience.

The One America campaign will include celebrity videos, crowdsourcing and online voting to suggest and encourage potential rivals to come together to serve; local service events and dialogues in towns and cities across the country; a social media campaign; and suggested ways volunteers can make a difference in improving education, fighting hunger and protecting the environment.

“Acts of service can indeed cross boundaries, bring together the most unlikely allies, and build stronger communities,” said Michelle Nunn, CEO of Points of Light, the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service. “Recognizing that people in communities are tackling tough challenges every day, One America will showcase volunteer ideas that are working, and present them in a way that others can then implement in their own communities.”

Periodic challenges will award prizes for contests that may range from best video of local rivals serving, to most innovative volunteer project idea addressing childhood hunger, to most compelling One America moment.

Points of Light’s more than 200 on-the-ground action centers across the country will also be engaged in local events and will help people find meaningful opportunities to volunteer.

JPMorgan Chase will host the first official One America tour event in Columbus, Ohio in July, 2013. Other cities on the tour will include Chicago, New York, Miami, Houston, Atlanta, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.  The level of the investment was not disclosed, although the firm did spend $750,000 to be the event’s title sponsor. More than 5,000 people involved in service are attending the event.

To sign up for regular updates or suggest unlikely allies that you’d like to see unite in service, please go to


Sponsored Podcasts

Welcome to the Raise & Engage podcast, a filters-off series for nonprofit professionals hosted by Blackbaud's straight-shooting expert Danielle Johnson Vermenton. During this open-mic session, you’ll hear honest advice to help YOU do more for your cause.

Episode 6: The Power of ‘No’ at Work|| daniellejohnson-76

You have a job description, but on any given day, you're probably doing dozens of things outside the scope of that description. Combine that with the challenge of a fast-paced environment and the shifting priorities of funders, colleagues, and board members and it’s easy to fall short of doing your best. By being mindful of your limitations and capacity—and saying “no” when your plate is full—you can actually do more for your cause. In the sixth installment of the Raise and Engage podcast Danielle Johnson and Robin Anderson discuss the power of saying “no” at work.

Episode 5: Professional Development: Getting Un-Stuck|| daniellejohnson-76

In the most recent episode of Raise + Engage, Danielle is back with Brian Reich from little m media to discuss how nonprofit professionals can stay motivated and energized in their day-to-day roles. Brian shares his experience working with nonprofits and the lessons and tips he's learn from and shared with them over the years, including tips for avoiding a professional rut, creating forward momentum in your career and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. If you're considering making a career move or want to ensure you're on the right path, you won't want to miss this inspo-packed episode!

Episode 4: Apps and Hacks to Stay (Mostly) Sane || daniellejohnson-76

Episode 4: Apps and Hacks to Stay (Mostly) Sane, is all about tips, tricks and tools for sanity. Blackbaud’s own interactive product marketer, Julia Lenz, joins host Danielle Johnson to share some high tech. (and no tech.) productivity tips to help nonprofit professionals stay sane in the crazy world of philanthropy.

Tune in to hear:

  • Tips for how to spend the first 30 minutes of your day
  • The benefits of 15 minute meetings
  • Why notebooks are still relevant to a successful organization
  • Ideas for better managing your inbox
  • Why you should take lunch outside the box
  • ...and much more!
Don’t forget to visit the #NoFilterNonprofit Hub afterwards to download our newest tip sheet10 Productivity Hacks for Nonprofits.

Episode 3: Tech. Connection: Solutions, Strategy, and Staff || daniellejohnson-76

Episode 3: Tech. Connection: Solutions, Strategy, and Staff In episode 3 of the Raise + Engage podcast, Danielle Johnson is joined by Chris Geady and William DaSilva, two IT experts in the nonprofit space, to talk technology integration for NPOs: when you need it, when you don’t, and how to do it successfully.

Tune in to hear:

  • When to say NO to integration
  • How to set your strategic plan before even looking at technologies
  • Ways to get your entire team on board
  • The importance of identifying a project lead
  • The RFP process - how it should and should not go
And William shares a story about a nonprofit that may or may not have still been using a typewriter. You don't want to miss this one!

Episode 2: From Socially Awkward to Socially Awesome! || daniellejohnson-76

According to Danielle Johnson, straight-shooting host of the Raise + Engage podcast series, if your staff members aren’t the number one advocates for your cause on social media, you’re failing. In the most recent episode, Danielle is joined by Blackbaud’s own social media guru Madeline Turner to discuss overcoming social struggles and creating a social ambassador program at your organization. This entertaining and insightful duo dishes on the importance of making your social media presence human, making the case for a formal social program to leadership, how University of Michigan turned a one time social media campaign into a long term social program, and how Madeline's mom unknowingly became a social ambassador on #GivingTuesday.

Episode 1: Corporate Culture & Development: Shake It Up! || daniellejohnson-76

In the premiere episode of Raise & Engage, Danielle is joined by three straight-shooting nonprofit rock-stars: Jodi Smith of Sanford Health Systems, Veronica Brown of Chicago Public Library Foundation and Ali Burke of Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation. The group talks organizational culture, problem employees, why its important to celebrate and how to shake things up this year and build a better more authentic team that gets stuff done!


Stay informed, catch latest trends in the nonprofit space.

Subscribe to Our Free Newsletter

No obligation, unsubscribe at anytime.

Success! Check your email inbox.

Follow Us On Twitter

NPT 2016 Buyers' Guide

Newsletter Sign-up

click here to return to the previous page